Suppose it is a regular day, you are driving to the mall and have your kids in the car. You are checking on them if they are all right beside you in the car seat, all buckled up. It seems like they are safe and secure but have you ever thought you might be wrong? Although, you make sure to put on the seat belt every time. However, are you taking the right precaution? Because there are some common mistakes regarding car seat, you might not know. Sometimes these little things may cause serious injuries and even cost the life of your precious child. Therefore, it is better to know than taking the risk. Here the most common car seat mistakes will be discussed that can help to prevent serious injuries and even save lives in a car crash.
Special seats for children, Should you use them or not?
- 1 Special seats for children, Should you use them or not?
- 2 Which is right? Front facing or rear facing?
- 3 Is it okay if the harness straps are loose or twisted?
- 4 What is the right position of harness clip? High or low?
- 5 When to cover your child? Before or after putting on the seat belt?
- 6 Does expiration date matter?
Yes, there are special seats for children because, in a car, the seats are actually made for adult people. It is obvious that children are too small to fit in the seat and the seat belt cannot hold them safely. The booster seat is a solution for this problem.
The booster seat is a cushioned seat that is designed to provide side impact protection. It lifts up the child in a way that the seat belt of the car seat fits perfectly. Therefore, many people use booster seats for their children until they are grown enough to sit in the car seat. Now when is the right time to stop using a booster seat? It may confuse you.
For children of age four to twelve (40-59 inches tall), booster seats are used. You cannot use a booster seat for children under 40 inches height. In this case, car seat with own seat belt feature is right for them. Search it by a baby car seat or infant car seat and you can find it easily.
It is a mistake not to use a booster seat. In a study, it was said that in 2015 children of ages 12 years or younger died in a car accident because of not using a booster seat or not putting on seat belts. Using a booster seat for children is necessary. Therefore, there should not be any compromise with the safety of your child. Children taller than 60 inches or more than 12 years can sit in normal car seats.
Which is right? Front facing or rear facing?
Often people who use baby car seat do not even think about the direction their child should be facing in a car. It is actually a matter of great concern. Although you are using the baby car seat (a safety seat with an own seat belt system), you may not know the right way to use it.
What happens if your child is facing front?
If your child is facing front in a car the most obvious things that can happen in a crash is the front windshield of the car can shatter in a car crash and the sharp pieces of glass can cause major injuries. Another major risk is when the car is hit from the front the baby may fall off the seat and get hurt in the head badly.
What happens when your child is facing rear?
When the baby car seat with your baby in it is facing to the rear of the vehicle, it protects the child both from the back side and from the front side. The baby car seat will protect the child from the back if the car is hit from the front. Even if the baby falls from the seat for a hard braking baby car seat can save the head from getting hurt badly. The main seat of the car will protect the baby if the car is hit from behind.
The baby car seat should be kept facing towards rear at least until the age of four, the longer the better.
Is it okay if the harness straps are loose or twisted?
In a car seat, harness straps hold the body with the seat. In most of the car seats, there are two harness straps to hold the body over the shoulder. These straps of the seat belt can be twisted by mistake in a rush. You might neglect it but twisted harness can cause trouble for you to take off the seat belt in an emergency. When the harness straps are loose, your child might fall off the seat facing down or bumped in the head badly.
So it should be checked if the harness straps are flat with the body and not. Pull the harness nice and keep it close fitted so it can hold the child safely in a crash.
To be sure, try to pinch excess fabric on the harness if you can, then it is too loose. If you cannot, then the harness straps are well fitted.
What is the right position of harness clip? High or low?
Harness clip is attached with the two straps. It helps the straps to stay on the shoulder. When harness clip is too low it means the harness straps of the seat belt are not fitted well with the body and might fall off the shoulder. If the straps are loose, it will not hold the child properly anymore. This can cause injury in any kind of accident.
The right position of the harness clip is at the level of the armpit. That will keep the straps in right place. Therefore, the straps will not fall off the shoulder and hold your child securely.
When to cover your child? Before or after putting on the seat belt?
Before buckling up your child in the car seat check if you are covering him with thick clothes and jackets or not. It is important. Because too much thick dresses are not preferable. If there is thick dress between your child and the harness, it will be compressed in a crash. Compressed clothes will create slack between the harness and your child. As a result, the harness will be loose even after buckling up and would not be able to hold the child properly.
The first concern should be fastening the seat belt nice and snug but also it should be tight enough to hold the child securely. So cover you child after putting on the seat belt. Let not a jacket or any thick cloth create hollow between your child and the harness.
Does expiration date matter?
Every product has longevity limit, no exception with car seats. When it expires, it is no longer safe to use that product. Some people use reconditioned car seats and it cannot afford the same safety as the new one. Seats are made of plastic so as days go by it becomes brittle and unable to absorb the shock in a car crash. Most of the car seats expire after 6 years.
So along with the other safety measures been taken expiration date should be checked on a car seat and replaced with new one.
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